Baby and Milk

SPRINGFIELD, VT – Springfield Hospital announces the grand opening of a human milk depot in partnership with Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast (MMBNE). The opening event will take place on Tuesday, July 10, 2018, from 1-3 pm at The Childbirth Center at Springfield Hospital.  Families, prospective milk donors, healthcare providers, and community members are invited to attend the family-friendly celebration, which will include a ribbon-cutting, refreshments, and information on how nursing mothers can donate milk.

“When a mother’s own milk is not available, pasteurized human donor milk is a wonderful option for new mom’s,” comments Lyndsy McIntyre, Director of Springfield Hospital’s Childbirth Center. She adds, “A milk depot makes this option possible and provides families — within our community and beyond —nutritional options for our youngest citizens. We know that the benefits of breastmilk are numerous and long lasting for both women and children, so we are incredibly proud of our partnership with MMBNE and our opportunity to improve access to breastmilk in our local community.”

A milk depot is a community location where screened milk donors can drop off milk for shipment to a milk bank. The milk bank collects milk from mothers who have more milk than their babies need, then screens, pasteurizes, and tests the milk, and dispenses it primarily to premature and sick babies whose mothers do not have enough milk for them. Mothers from the Springfield area will now be able to conveniently drop off their milk at the Springfield Hospital Childbirth Center depot for shipment to Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast.

This is the first depot for MMBNE in the state of Vermont. With the opening of this location, MMBNE will now have 20 depots in eight states throughout the northeast. “The presence of a milk depot signifies a deep commitment to the health and well-being of the most vulnerable members of the community—the fragile babies whose lives depend on safe, pasteurized donor milk,” commented Ann Marie Lindquist, Director of Community Relations for Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast. “We are delighted to partner with Springfield Hospital to serve the community in this way. It is especially exciting to launch our first depot in Vermont!”

Milk donor screening, modeled after blood donor screening, includes health history, physician approval, and a blood test. These are some of the many measures taken to ensure the safety of milk for the fragile premature and sick babies served by MMBNE and the hospitals that use the milk. Milk from mothers who pass the screening is also pasteurized and tested by an independent lab to ensure safety before being dispensed to hospitals or families.

Human milk can be lifesaving for preterm infants. It is especially protective against a life-threatening condition called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), which affects one in ten of the smallest preterm infants. Human breast milk is estimated to lower the risk of this condition by 79%.

Donor milk is rapidly becoming the standard supplement to mothers’ milk. An increasing number of community hospitals use donor milk when babies need a supplement to their mothers’ own milk.

“As a certified lactation counselor who counsels mothers on breastfeeding, providing breast milk for supplementation is a vital option,” comments Erin Waysville, RN.  She continues, “Mothers who choose to breastfeed their children may face unforeseen circumstances and not be able to breastfeed their newborn as planned. Our goal is to have pasteurized donor milk available on our unit in the near future so physicians can prescribe to newborns in need, and help new mothers fulfill their wish to exclusively breastfeed their child. The Springfield Hospital milk depot, through collaboration with MMBNE, allows approved mothers to contribute donor milk to this initiative.”

Mothers who wish to donate milk can review guidelines on the milk bank website, www.milkbankne.org/donate, then contact a Donor Intake Coordinator for screening at 617-527-6263 x3 or donate@milkbankne.org.  Approved donors can then drop off milk at the new depot located at Springfield Hospital’s Childbirth Center, 25 Ridgewood Road, Springfield, VT.

About Springfield Medical Care Systems

Springfield Medical Care Systems is a not-for-profit, community-based healthcare system that is compassionate, evidence-based and outcome-driven. Our innovative, integrated, patient-centered medical home model, combined with our uniquely collaborative culture, creates a health system that offers a holistic approach to wellness and prevention. Services include primary and preventive care, behavioral health, dental, vision, and acute hospital and specialty services. Healthcare and prescription services are accessible to all, with financial assistance available based on a sliding fee scale. Our mission is to excel at providing personalized, quality care, “Where People Come First.”

About Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast

Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast is a nonprofit community milk bank accredited by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA). MMBNE has been screening donors, pasteurizing milk, and dispensing to over 80 hospitals and to families throughout the Northeastern United States since 2011.